Bellator MMA, the country’s second-largest mixed martial arts promotion, announced today that they would be putting together a celebrity tournament featuring some major names in Hollywood. They are hoping to use these fights to increase their television ratings, as well as bring more notice to their fighters and promotion as a whole.
Founder Bjorn Rebney started Bellator MMA in 2008 as the Bellator Fighting Championship (Bellator is latin for “warrior”) as a competitor to the uber-popular UFC, or Ultimate Fighting Championship, which has been televising MMA fights since 1993. In the last several years, Bellator has slowly gained almost a cult-following of fans, who closely follow their 8-man tournaments, which are set up as a counter-action to the individual one-off fights presented by the UFC.
Rebney announced the new event from the company’s headquarters in Newport Beach, California.
“It is with great pleasure that I announce the new incarnation of Bellator MMA with our Celebrity Fights Tournament!” Said Rebney during his press conference. “We are very excited to work with our group of stars, to help train them, and get them ring-ready to beat the living hell out of each other.”
The announced celebrities that have already signed on the dotted line for the fights include Academy Award winning actors Matt Damon and Edward Norton, Danny DeVito, cult film director Kevin Smith, pop-star Justin Timberlake, pussy-boy Michael Cera, every woman’s masturbatory fantasy Channing Tatum, and for some bizarre reason, 90s rapper Coolio.
The tournament will take place in mid-January, and will be televised on SpikeTV in the U.S. and CTV in Canada. Bellator’s normal rules will apply, as each celebrity is paired off against another in an 8-man bi-weekly staggered tournament, which will be compromised of three, 5-minute rounds each. The winner will be given $100,000 for his favorite charity and, like any Bellator tournament winner, will be able to challenge current champion Vitaly Minakov of Russia. Minakov has been the Bellator heavyweight champion since November of 2013, and is expected to completely destroy any of the celebrities who may challenge him, especially Danny DeVito.
So far, a few of the celebrities have already been seen in gyms bulking up for their fight, including Edward Norton, who is looking to put back on all the American History X muscle and defeat Cera, who has been selected as his opponent for the first round.
“I know that I can beat him right to the ground. Who hasn’t wanted to punch Michael Cera in the face on more than one occasion? Jesus, did you guys see Year One? He deserves to be beaten into oblivion for making bad movies,” said Norton, apparently forgetting he starred in The Incredible Hulk.
Bellator MMA is said to already be seeking fighters for their next celebrity tournament, and has reportedly reached out to funny man Seth Rogen, Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, and Star Wars creator George Lucas. So far, no one else has signed-on officially, but speculation is high that everyone will be on board.